Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nice job on the crashes

The possibility of cutting the police investigation of non-injury traffic crashes was floated this year during budget deliberations, and there has been a lot of discussion (including here on my blog) of the upsides, downsides, and practicality of handling minor crashes differently.

Regardless of what you think, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a nice service for citizens. Bringing a little order to chaos is a task at which police officers excel. Whether it survives the budget knives…? Standby, the Mayor releases his proposed 2009-2010 budget on Monday.

In what must be a single-day record, I received three phone calls yesterday from citizens who took the time and effort to reach me personally to pass on their thanks and appreciation to officers who investigated traffic crashes in the past few days. One of those even came from a citizen who was ticketed in the accident. The compliments have been passed on to the investigating officers and their supervisors.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It probably prevents more than a few post-accident road rage assaults when one of your officers is there to provide a visual deterrent to such urges. You're also able to determine on the spot if all drivers involved are properly licensed and have valid insurance and registration, rather than fictitious paperwork. Also, let's not forget how many DUIs and other arrests/citations result from non-injury accidents each year.

Regarding the budget, I always bet on the mayor dangling police (and fire) services over the rail in a tired ploy to panic the taxpayers (and the non-taxpayers) into submission. If the Mayor's office says, "We might have to cancel the Antelope Valley Big-ditch boondoggle" or "We might have to cancel the Arena", a large chunk of the voters would just go "So what? Do it! They're a huge waste of tax money anyway." - but if you say "We might have to make Lincoln a more dangerous place to live for you and your loved ones", they'll knuckle under. It's an old dodge.

Personally, I'd like to see LPD get their own line item on the property tax bill. That way, it'd be easy to see just what a tiny sliver of our property tax bill goes to LPD, and how doubling or tripling the size of that tiny sliver would barely cause a rise in the individual tax bills.

Steve said...

I know that if I were in a non-injury accident where significant property damage was involved, I would probably want a police report done and verification of IDs, licensing, insurance, and such. I would want tickets issued if warranted, for violating traffic laws, lack of driver's license, no proof of insurance, improper registration, DUI, etc.

I know there are often more immediate concerns for officers and that it may take some time to respond. I'm not really sure what the law is in this regard, but I think it should be up to the drivers involved whether they wanted to wait for police to arrive, or simply exchange information and get on their way. Depending on traffic conditions, weather, and other circumstances, it might be unsafe or an undue burden for a driver to have to remain at the scene for an extended period.

If we need more officers or support staff to handle the job, so be it. I'm willing to pay.

JIM J said...

I try to keep up with reading the accident reports. I read to learn. I learn from others mistakes and I find a bunch of driver error in the reports. Also I read the reports from areas that I travel most often.

Last week I was not paying attention. I was sitting at a red light. I was looking one block ahead and thinking how stupid that driver is that just ran the light that I am now sitting at. The light one block ahead changed, and I drove through my RED light.
Guess it shows who was really the stupid one that time. No traffic was coming or I would have been T boned.
I have learned a bunch from this encounter. Practice is the best teacher.

Anonymous said...

Chief,

Any idea on what kind of academy class there will be this fall for new recruits? And how many? Or is this something that is dependent on the budget that the Mayor releases on Monday?

Tom Casady said...

1:46 -

I have it programmed for 13, but might go 14.

Anonymous said...

So......Are we still working accidents or not?

Tom Casady said...

10:51 -

Yep.

Anonymous said...

Duuoohhh!!!

Anonymous said...

I too would like to thank LPD for completing accident reports. One of our vehicles was involved in a "non-injury" accident while being driven by someone, not in our family, without our knowledge. The car was totaled and the accident report provided us with the details that may not have been given to us by the other teenage driver who was alone in the car. There were no other vehicles involved and no known witnesses. There was other property damage besides the car and this was all detailed in the report. This will be helpful in dealing with insurance companies and legal counsel if necessary. Otherwise, all we would have to go by is the information given to us by a teenager who was under the influence. Thanks again. You are appreciated.